Thursday, May 26, 2011

Miss Alissa



More from the last shoot with Alissa...after a quick outfit change we were looking around for cool backgrounds that also happened to be in the sun, since it was cold out! Found this great place with an overhanging awning that made cool shadows on the wall. Sun was behind Alissa to her left (camera right) which you can tell by looking at her shadow on the ground. Lighting for all of these were two reflectors hand held by Frank and Danielle: one big white one just to camera left for fill, and the shiny gold/silver side of the California Sunbounce reflector slightly more to the left. The shiny reflector was acting as a key light since it was reflecting back direct sunlight. When you use a reflector like this it can be really bright, and you can see the giant beam of light it gives off and often the model can't look in that direction because it's almost the same as trying to look into the sun!













With an experienced model who knows how to pose without any instruction needed, shooting in natural light like this is great. There is no recycle time to worry about like when shooting with strobes, and you are not limited by sync speed. Alissa dances around and changes her pose every 2 seconds and I click the shutter and get all these pic in under five minutes...how great is that?!

Model: Alissa Laderer
MUA: Danielle Klatsky
Assistant: Franklin Abreu

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sometimes you just need less sun...



Shooting people in the open shade usually leads to nice soft flattering light...but what can you do when you are faced with bright noon sunlight that's pretty much right overhead creating ugly shadows everywhere?

behind the scenes

Block it! (I think "flagging" is the technical term for that...) By putting something opaque between your model and the sun, you have eliminated the hard sunlight and are left with nice diffuse lighting. In this case, I had the California Sunbounce Micro Mini reflector on hand, so we used that as a flag. With Olga holding it for us, we were able to move around and make sure the flag was just where it was needed.

The key when shooting like this is to expose properly for the skin, and let the background blow out to almost white. Usually this requires an over exposure of the scene by about a stop or so. It's a really simple technique that's portable and great for shooting out in busy places where light stands etc are not an option, provided you have an assistant to help out!

Model, wardrobe, hair: Sheri Mallin
Make-up artist, assistant: Olga Albova

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Behind the scenes...simple dramatic lighting on location!



The lighting here was pretty simple...just one speedlight through a white umbrella, with a 1/4 CTO warming gel. The background was underexposed by a stop. Frank held the light overhead and instead of the typical 45-degree angle to the ground, he feathered the light so that the umbrella was more like 20-degrees from parallel to the ground, and only the edge of the beam was used to light the face. The result is more subtle light with some more character...not the typical "expose everything" that happens when you point the umbrella straight at a person!

setup
the setup for the full-body shots: for the actual pictures, he lifted the umbrella up higher and tilted it down more



For the closer shots, Danielle helped out by holding a reflector below the umbrella, effectively creating clamshell lighting on location! Easy as that to get flattering fill and nice shadows and depth all with one speedlight!

setup
here is our makeshift clamshell lighting...you can tell it was cold out when the hoods are up

Thanks to:
Model: Alissa Laderer
MUA: Danielle Klatsky
Assistant: Franklin Abreu

Polka Dots



More with Sheri,out in full daytime sun. The strategy for these shots was just to have her keep her back to the bright overhead sun as much as possible. Olga helped out by holding a small white reflector off to the side to bounce in some fill light. By exposing for the skin, which is mostly in the shade (since her back is to the sun), we got a nice airy feel to these. The cost is some blown highlights in certain places where the full sun got her, but that's OK by me!

Red polka dot dress




I like the hairlight provided by the overhead sun!


An in-between shot...a tiny stolen moment between poses...I like when I catch these.

More to come...

Model, wardrobe, hair: Sheri Mallin
Make-up artist, assistant: Olga Albova

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nautilus

Nautilus Diner

This is the Nautilus Diner in Massapequa on Long Island. Growing up nearby it was the go-to diner, and a staple in the rotation of places to go and eat. I went there as a kid with my parents at least twice a month. I'd walk there with friends when we were too young to drive. In high school, we'd go there all the time late at night...driven by a mix of hunger and boredom and just not wanting to go home yet.

I could say that I "met" my wife at the Nautilus Diner. I was around 16 years old, it was my cousin's birthday and he reserved the big room that seats like 25 people for the party. We thought we were pretty cool, hanging out in a diner in the middle of the day :) I thought I knew most of his friends already, but then this cute blond girl walked in wearing a brown sweater, and I remember just watching her from the other end of the table. Not in a creepy way (yeah right!), but more of a "I want to get to know you" way. She had to leave early and we never spoke, so I guess you can say that "met her" wouldn't be 100-percent accurate! The next time I saw her was freshman year of college, and at first she didn't believe me when I told her that I remembered her from the Nautilus Diner two years back...until I told her what she was wearing that day and that she left early in a rush. Then she remembered: her dad broke his ankle that day and had to get surgery and her mom came to pick her up early! Fast-forward to present day: her dad is fine, and we have been married for almost 7 years!

I have so many other Nautilus stories...the one where I threw a stinkbomb and caused calamity among diner-goers, or when my friend broke their payphone and the manager remembered me a year later and tried to make some sort of citizens-arrest at the table, causing me to grab my girlfriend at the time and run out the door, not to return until about 5 years later (also known as the age of the Massapequa Diner)! My dad called the place "The Nauseous" and others knew it simply as "Nautili" (pronounced like Nautil-eye, as in the pleural of Nautilus.)

Here is the place today:

Nautilus Diner

Nautilus Diner

Another part of my youth on Long Island, now just a memory...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Walk of Shame

walk of shame
The Walk of Shame













A concept I've been wanting to shoot for a while...Danielle did some great "morning after" makeup, Alissa worked it, and Frank helped out with the lighting. I am really happy with the way these came out!

Lots more of this shoot to come, and some lighting behind the scenes too!

Model: Alissa Laderer
MUA: Danielle Klatsky
Assistant: Franklin Abreu

Monday, May 2, 2011

Downtown Pin-Up

downtown pin-up

I've always been a fan of the pin-up genre...but really, who isn't? It's iconic, and you are downright Un-American if you don't like this style! Here is a lightly pin-up inspired shoot that was a true collaboration between me, Sheri, and Olga. We all pitched in to make it happen!





Natural light and a reflector was the name of the game all day.

More to come...

Model, wardrobe, hair, posing expert: Sheri Mallin
Make-up artist, assistant/reflector ninja: Olga Albova
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